What is Opera Worth?

Whether you like it or not, opera is changing face. People everywhere are changing the way they talk, teach, produce and market opera. Do you know what’s going on?

Via Flickr by borman818‘What is [opera] worth?’

They’re an integral part to opera – the top-tier, the bluebloods, the Sunday viewers, the white collars, the upper class, the red hatters, the aristocrats, nobles, big wigs, VIPs, royalty… whichever term you choose to describe them, they all have one thing in common:  they just can’t do it anymore. Do it? Yes, do it. Make opera happen. Due to many contributing factors, we have entered an age where we can no longer rely on the wallets of the rich to fund the arts. Why?


On the basis of social interaction alone, “we need 1000s giving $100s, not 100s giving $1,000s.” Thus, we need more people to get revved up about opera. Let me rephrase, we need to get more people revved up about opera. That’s right, it all starts with us.

Something occurred a couple of weeks back that shocked us to pieces.

There was a great set of Bach recordings (9 hrs of music) being sold for $0.99 cents on Amazon.com. It’s still really cheap – check it out. Crazy, right? I mean, think of the unfathomable QPR (Quality to Price Ratio)! The works of perhaps the most influential composer of all time being bought for under a buck. Think what Bach might have to say about it. The American paradigm on classical arts needs a serious overhaul.

There are a handful of innovative ways companies are reaching out to a national audience in order spark interest and raise funds. One way in particular has caught our attention – Kickstarter.com. They’re mission is pretty straight-forward:

Kickstarter.com is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of musicfilmarttechnologydesignfoodpublishing and other creative fields.

DC startup company, UrbanArias, successfully raised the $6K needed to take their plans to the next level. Likewise, Project Opera of Manhattan raised $10K. Minnesota Opera and Fresco Opera Theatre have used Kickstarter.com to try and help fund their seasons and we’ve even found an opera being funded without the help of an opera company!

So, what is opera worth to you?

Enough in order to keep it alive even in the areas you leave untraveled? One of the main focuses of OperaPulse is to strengthen opera on a national grid. We foresee a united American opera community where peeps in LA support folks in Sarasota; ya’ll in Dallas support yous guys in Maine; and mobs in NYC support clans in Alaska. With a nationally connected approach to raising funds, we predict many a financial woe of America’s opera communities becoming washed out.

“You can’t keep asking people… ‘give us another million.’ In all fairness, where is the rest of the community?” – LA Times

So how do we get started? Well, if you haven’t heard, Baltimore Concert Opera has just been handed a $20,000 challenge grant in which, in order to receive the funds, the community must match that amount of money. BCO is in need of funds in order to expand, compete and continue to grow in the Baltimore area. You can reveal just how serious you are by being one of the first to show how efficient we can be when we’re connected. If you are capable, click here to donate whatever amount you deem appropriate. Any amount counts.

We all share a similar passion. We all thrive on a similar pulse. These are exciting times when we can reach out together and make opera worth a bit more than the world expects. The stronger the pulse the faster we can change those expectations.

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5 thoughts on “What is Opera Worth?

  1. To put things in the proper perspective, everyone needs to go see the Met’s Live in HD simulcast of La Traviata this Saturday at their local theater, and be reminded how much opera enriches our lives.

  2. Regional opera and its involvement at the elementary school and junior hi level will do more than whining about no support base like established companies are wont to do. Create your market! I regularly sing arias in classrooms in Italian to hook kids on an artform. It works.

  3. @BJ Todd, It’s true.. The Met’s Live in HD series is a phenomenal outlet, but they are only one company. A lot of us lean on their innovation and momentum to spark interest in our own communities. Is it better to lean on their momentum or our own?

  4. Opera doesn’t need more money to survive. It needs more great singers. Singing teachers should do more to look after the pennies. The pounds will take care of themselves!

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